The Congress on Monday accused the Union government of carrying out “state-sponsored goondaism and terrorism” at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Party president Sonia Gandhi said, “The bone-chilling attack...is a grim reminder of the government’s effort to stifle and subjugate dissent.”
Demanding an inquiry into the Sunday night violence by a sitting Supreme Court or High Court judge, the party said the probe should look into the role of the government, the university administration and the Delhi police.
Former Union Finance and Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the Commissioner of the Delhi police should be held accountable.
The Congress also alleged that at least six former office-bearers of the BJP in Delhi were leading a mob outside the campus, who were inciting violence.
Ms. Gandhi, who called up Opposition leaders to rally them round, set up a four-member fact-finding team that would submit a report on the violence in a week. “The horrifying and unprecedented violence unleashed on India’s young by goons, with the active abetment of the Modi government, is deplorable and unacceptable. Every day, campuses and colleges are raided across India, either by the police or lumpen elements with the support of the BJP government,” she said in a statement.
“Yesterday’s bone-chilling attack on students and teachers at the JNU is a grim reminder of the extent the government will go to stifle and subjugate every voice of dissent. Students and youth need affordable education, a deserving job, a promising future and a right to participate in our thriving democracy. Sadly, the Modi government seeks to suffocate and restrain each one of these aspirations,” she said.
“I am absolutely sure that there was intelligence. Either they winked at it or connived with the perpetrators, which is why this terrible incident took place... So the buck starts with the Commissioner of Police and stops with the Home Minister,” Mr. Chidambaram said at a press conference. “This is no longer a creeping fascism, this is a rapid descent into fascism. All that we see is fascist action all around — at Jamia Milia, at JNU and in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the incident reminded one of the Nazi style violence. “The manner in which the youth is being attacked and their voices are stifled reminds us of the Nazi Germany of 1933, which seems to have come back under the rule of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah after 90 years,” he said.
“‘What enmity do you have with students and the youth of India, Modiji and Amit Shahji?’ That is the question that the Indian National Congress and the people of India ask. Why are you torturing, suffocating, subjugating the youth and students of India under your autocratic and despotic rule,” he asked.